Episode 10: Friendship and the Magic of More

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On this episode we take a behind the scenes look at one couple’s relationship through a reading of their personal writings. In the Fall of 2006 Marcie Prohofsky moved into the OneTaste community. Shortly after, Mark joined OneTaste’s Urban Monk program, a residential offering for students who want to live the practice of sensuality for a few weeks or months. The two soon discovered that they shared a love of writing and a desire to express their OneTaste experiences on paper. Journaling in the mornings became a regular part of their days. Over the next few months, they chronicled the evolution of their relationship and friendship.

Transcript

Friendship and the Magic of More

Announcer: This program is intended for mature audiences only.

[music]

J : Hello, and welcome to "A Taste of Sex," a reality audio show on life in an orgasm-based community. I'm J. Each episode, we peek into the private lives and thoughts of community members who live and work together at OneTaste Urban Retreat Center in San Francisco. This week, we hear a reading of intimate journal entries chronicling the evolution of jealousy, love, and loss that often arise during a relationship.

Tune in, and turn on!

[music]

J : Today's story began in the fall of 2006, when a small group of us committed to journaling four mornings a week. It quickly turned into a somewhat obsessive habit. We would pull out pens and computers, and sit with focused attention at a long table on the bottom floor of OneTaste, shooing away all interruptions, for an hour or more.

Mark and Marcie were two regulars. Marcie had just moved in. Mark was an Urban Monk, a program where students live and work with us for weeks or months at a time. The two were "research partners," a OneTaste term that describes an effort to stay conscious and grow during a relationship.

On more than several occasions, Mark and Marcie sat side by side, writing simultaneously about their relationship. It was a unique setup, to say the least. They wrote about their feelings for each other, almost as they happened. What follows are excerpts that document the fully cycle of their relationship, from beginning to end, and the expressions of jealousy, anxiety, and love that fell in-between.

Mark: I feel the tip of the tip of my finger. An intermittent warm charge blinks like a morse code message. All of my feeling resources go to my finger as it makes contact, skimming the surface of her clitoris like a seaplane landing on a lake. Her clitoris is still and at attention. An arrested moan emerges from her throat. Her stomach swells and undulates. We are on the stroke.

Marcie Prohofsky: There is a tightness in my shoulder and a gnawing in my stomach. Did I push too hard? How will this one end up? "Just come with me to Sundance! Let's have fun! I'm an invitation; I offer you an experience to live life fully. Are you in, or are you out? I'm in a movie, dammit!" We fly down Folsom Street, your hand on my pussy, me pulling back from what suddenly felt like pressure. "I'd better ease up, especially if I still want what I want."

You declare how you've become distracted by the thought of being late. You say, "It's 9:01." I think, "Whoa! In my world, that's still on time!" Plus, I mean, it's journaling, and J is never there at 9:00."

I slow to a stop and look for parking, then think to let you out. You pause and offer a kiss. I kiss back, loving you, my mind singing, "You go! Get in there! Set up for journaling!" My body approaches and requests one more contact with your lips. I enjoy the buzz: part mixture of delight in you, a thought of, "See, we do have chemistry!" and part turn-on for your timid enthusiasm to get out of the car and get to journaling, your favorite part of the day.

Mark: Sundance. Weekend. Your resistance. Blah blah blah. Deedle dee, deedle doo. The sound of a siren wails. We stop, look, and heed the throbbing emergency. Red. I feel a surge of heat between my legs. My cock pushes against denim. It's angry, a version of the Incredible Hulk, and it wants out. It can't help it; it needs.

Midway through a meaningless sentence, I shoot my left hand beneath her legs. She stops talking, grips the wheel with increased concentration, and slowly exhales into a mischievous smile. My fingers press and scrape against her jeans, one finger at a time, with the fervor of a hand that's been buried alive. My eyes feel a burning red. I'm lifting, pulling, and pushing my breath through my body. Each exhale is like the spraying of a fire hose. I think about pulling out my cock and masturbating in front of her.

I glance at the clock: we are almost late. The inner punctuality police pound on the door to break up the party. The red sirens fade into nothingness.

Marcie Prohofsky: I sit here and cry. "Is this really about him?" I wonder, as the tears stop. It's so confusing. I'm exhausted, and--wait, stop. My period is coming tomorrow. Maybe I don't really want Mark. Hmm. Probably not. And I think that could shift at any moment, were his attention on me in a way that filled me up.

Whoa! I am confused, my brain thrown into Uncle Shell's big industrial mixer. It's Kala, and I am twisted. My thoughts are twisted. Who would have thought that I would still be single, nearing 40? And yes, I admit, I never quite saw a clear image of me married, doing the family thing, even though it has swept across the valley of my adventurous mind a million times.

I think about Mark. Don't hold me down. Oh, but yes, hold me down! Tie me up! The bondage performance last night mesmerized me. It captivated me. The beauty and spirit. The depth of her words. All 300 people watching; were they turned on like I was? Feeling my body tingle. Watching her hands swirl like a fan. Taking in the colors of her fair skin and strawberry blonde hair. Her limbs were quickly bound and hung with a tan rope by the man who served her to us.

She twisted ever-so-elegantly as she hung from a carabiner. The silver hook, that was the sperm, the rope being the egg, and her body the spirit, as she delivered an offspring by way of her performance, for our sensational delight.

Mark: My left hand feels the warmth of the ceramic coffee cup. I squeeze it, and the flesh of my fingertips expands into the mug. I look up. "OK, let's try it. Why don't you give me a frame?"

Marcie Prohofsky: I was sitting on top of him, and his cock was inside me. You know, he is a thick guy all around.

Mark: I hold my breath. My chest rounds as my body starts to cave. She's activated my alpha male ego. Thoughts cross my mind on a supersonic teleprompter: "Forget this conversation! Forget this shit! She's doing this to hurt me. She's trying to mess with my head." I breathe. "Wait. I've checked out," I say.

Marcie Prohofsky: I wanted to scream during the OM with Jim as he stroked. I wanted to hit my fists into the ground. And then, because I don't want to draw attention, because I don't want to give YOU the satisfaction of having this impact on me, I wanted to run away. I think how I obsess about getting attention. I want it now, and you don't want to give it to me. Maybe I should research with George. It's pending, anyway.

You could've just said, "Yes," when I asked if you wanted to know how to care for me. I collapse beneath what felt like a slap in the face, when you shut down and declared, "We're processing again." I would have told you that to hold me is enough, or an invitation to sleep by your side, or following up to plan that date you keep suggesting. In my piss-off, I am avoiding the sensation that weighs in my chest. Am I just tired? Or is it that another weekend closes with what feels like time lost to Carrie? It seems obvious. "Get out now."

Mark: What does that smirk mean? That smirk means a thousand things. That smirk means, "I really don't care." It means that you are not in my emotional weather pattern. She was hurling insults at me, throwing Molotov cocktails into my windows: "Your arrogance! Your immaturity! Your jealousy of my writing!" The smirk protects you from the raw sewage of my thought stream. There are three rivers running through my mind. River one is what you want to hear. River two flows with hard, difficult truths that need to be said. River three flows with raw ego sewage.

I can feel my eyes burning. My gaze is restricted. My eyes are not interested in engaging with anyone. My legs are fighting below the table. You are a narcissistic bitch! You are a neurotic control freak. You're an insecure bitch. Your ego got loose and filled the schoolyard with bullets, so why can't mine? Am I hiding? Am I holding back?

That's right, you lost. I'm choosing someone else. Let me say that again: I'm choosing someone else over you. Deal with it. You are angry at the truth. You are angry at the messenger. My feelings hurt. My ego is plotting. It is running around fuming, trying to come up with a clever plan. It wants to strike back. If I don't strike back, then I'm inviting more attacks.

Marcie Prohofsky: Yeah, you asshole. Why don't you apologize? But no, I sense your big freaking ego is in your way. Asshole. I want to rip your head off; you and your big head that smirks all the time. I want to hurt you, smother you till you can't breathe. It's not about what you do, but how you do it, sneaky asshole. Just be straight with me. You were caught trying to cover up something. It felt mean. I don't deserve to be treated this way! I have done nothing but love you, and you don't deserve it! Ugh! Get off me, jealousy. I don't want to give you the satisfaction of hearing my struggle.

J : You've been listening to "A Taste of Sex." We'll be back shortly, after this short break.

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[break]

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J : This is "A Taste of Sex." We'll hear more from Mark and Marcie, and the trials of their relationship on the second half of the show.

Marcie Prohofsky: Why don't I want to go deep into the feelings of being rejected? I want to keep it all at the surface, and not dig where the mud is sticky and thick and putrid. And I can hear J, see her across the table, a pied piper here to tease me out of my safe place and go into the messy. You suck! You make me sick! Sitting there with your headphones on! I want to rip them out of your ears, punch you in the face! You look ugly to me now. And I want to pull out all the stops to take you down, including how immature I think you are.

You hold onto this piss-off, this anger that feels small and young. Who's out to get you, Mark, huh? Who is it? OK, J, I hear you. I feel rejected. What does this mean? Here it comes, like a flood, kind of like turn-on in my system, vibrating through, orgasm, meandering tingle from my pussy. What? Am I turned on by rejection? By the feeling of being the outsider, the unwanted?

I am curious about the sensation in my arms. My heart beats faster, I can feel it. Thump, thump. Ba-ba, ba-ba, ba-ba. And I feel the almost-relaxed wave of a subtle vibration that curls down the paths of my arms to my hands, where it pools and throbs in the joints of my wrists. I am in a bardo, the zone, the space between feeling unloved and knowing how absolutely lovable I am.

Mark: We're late. I don't like rushing, but today I'm sort of OK with it. She grabs the blankets and pillows, and I head for the center of the room for a pair of large gloves. They come on easily, which is a harbinger of a good day. I grab a towel that seems clean, but apparently isn't. I search for the lube while she grabs a paper towel. I guess it's a paper towel day.

I look at my hands like a doctor before surgery, moving the lube across my fingers. I notice that I'm not nervous, although it's been a while. I'm back from traveling, after a month away. I know the moves. I know the form. I also know Marcie accepts and likes me, which fills me with a measure of confidence. I whisper my intention to start: "OK, here we go."

My head is tilted down and my posture awkward. I look down with a jeweler's precision. A monocle in my left eye would be perfect. Her pussy is as I remembered it. She lets out a moan. She is here, settling in, as much as one can in the early morning. My finger is warm, but covered with that annoying latex glove. I let the annoyance go and return to the jeweler's focus.

My finger feels pretty at home. It knows that it doesn't have to move so fast. It knows it just has to be patient. "Don't panic, just stay with it. Let it be; it's not all up to me." I go light to see what's available, shifting my mind and finger to an up-stroke. She's trying, but it isn't quite there. She needs a down-stroke. Firmer pressure. It's the Egg McMuffin of OM-ing, and it always feels good.

Marcie Prohofsky: Swift and slow, deep and playful, you ignite my desire to love, whether or not you return it. Although, I'd be lying if I said I didn't want it. Last night, Chandra asked me if you were my guy. I told her, "No, we weren't researching anymore." And yet, I know we still are. We are friends, with some magic of more, undefined. She also told me Camille said that you were one of her favorite people. I knew what she meant. I think you are one of mine, too. And I suspect, J's, too.

And there was a moment that I felt jealous, and I questioned, "Am I one of anyone's favorite people?" Now I think, "Is this poem more about you, or me?" I peek over at you. It's a strange combo today: the OneTaste tee with the hat. And it doesn't quite work. And then, it absolutely does, because it declares how much you are in, playing at 100 percent. Even when you squirm up against your edges to connect and receive love, mine or anyone's. Breathe it in, dear. Breathe it out. Soak it up. You deserve every ounce.

[music]

J : After recording this show, I spoke to Mark and Marcie, asking how they feel about their relationship now.

Mark: I guess, in reading these pieces, I am surprised a little bit of the energy that was still available between us. Just going through it, sort of re-caching all those memories and feelings, and sort of realizing that they're still accessible. I sort of feel like we still have a relationship. And all those--the turn-on, the affection, the friendship--all the elements are there, it's just it's slightly in a different form right now.

And the form of relationships, I don't know. After studying all this at OneTaste and kind of really thinking about relationships with an intensity, all relationships are this organic thing that just changes, and it's constantly changing into new things. And right now, it resembles: I'm dating someone else and she's with other people. But we still have an interaction.

The thing I like about Marcie is that she always has a willingness, like she's very resilient. At the end of the day, I always feel confident that she's going to come back to a place of affection and of a place of, "Oh, isn't this crazy?" And she'll want to connect. I always sort of feel that about her, that no matter what ride of emotion, however intense her emotion gets--if it's calling me an asshole, or having hard feelings about me--that eventually she's going to come back, and she's going to be laughing about it, and she's going to be available to connect on some level.

Marcie Prohofsky: And I feel that, Mark, now. I still love him. It's like, I guess, that poem that I read. Which, interesting, it was beautiful to actually use that to close the piece. But that, actually, I wrote before he left for his month in India. And it's still, I feel, the same way, that we're friends, with some magic of something more, and that's undefined. And I'm fine with that. And it's like this playful kind of banter. Who knows if we'll ever sleep together again? I suspect we will.

But I appreciate him. And it's pretty unique, I feel. A pretty unique relationship, because it's a really sweet, deep connection, with a lot of playfulness and, I think, a mutual respect and appreciation for each other. And we challenge each other, in the kind of like antagonistic, playful way, but also like challenge each other to really improve who we are as people--relating together, how we show up in the world separately. I mean, I've always felt like Mark's held this... He's committed to my excellence.

Mark: As I read through these pieces and then hear them, the lessons of OneTaste are more and more readily apparent to me. And I think for me, with Marcie, my experience with her, is like I went to the jealousy lab with Marcie, I think. And we had some intense experiences around jealousy that I had never...

Of course, like I'd sealed those parts off and assumed they were bad feelings that weren't worthy of investigation, and just stuffing in the closet. You know? And so I felt like we experienced that together. And it taught me some very important lessons, like that jealousy is about my ego, and that, "Hey, wait. What is this about?" Most of the time, a lot of jealousy is not about becoming disconnected from her. It's about me feeling less than, because someone's got a bigger dick than I do, or someone's cuter. [laughs] Whatever it is, you know?

Most of the time, knowing that it's kind of bullshit, and to be able to call on its bullshit, sort of makes it easier. It makes me more willing to go to those places in relationships with people. Instead of instinctively trying to shut those feelings down, to try to lean into those situations and view them, really, as opportunities. I mean, that sounds like what you're supposed to say, but that was my experience. We really did that.

Marcie Prohofsky: And remember sitting at that table, that day that I wrote that piece? You were writing your piece that I was a bitch, and I was writing the piece that you were an asshole. [laughs] Who gets an experience like that, to sit down, write your inner thoughts and your feelings, share them immediately in a space that is actually SAFE. [laughs] You know? That was really extraordinary, yeah. I used to think, "Oh, I'm not really jealous." So I don't know who I was trying to fool. Obviously, me.

[music]

J : You've been listening to "A Taste of Sex." You can find us on the web at PersonalLifeMedia.com. For more information about OneTaste, check us out at OneTasteSF.com. Music on this show was performed and composed by Aharon Bolsta.

I'm J. Tune in, and turn on!

Announcer: Find more great shows like this on personallifemedia.com